Para Ordnance P14-45 Silver - Western Arms
Most of the Western Arms pistols I have reviewed for this site have come my way courtesy of UK distributor, Elite Airsoft, but this one was different.
I had bought a new KWA Glock 19 from Airsoft Armouries, but I never felt I was likely to keep it and I offered it in exchange for a WA Para-Ordnance P14-45 in silver, with a faulty magazine.
The deal was done and the gun soon arrived.
In the Box
The Para Ordnance box looks pretty much like most other WA boxes. It's plain tan cardboard with a Para-Ordnance logo on the lid. A sticker on one end of the box indicates whether a black, two-tone (olive drab frame, black slide) or silver P14-45 lies inside.
Even though this was a used gun, everything you would expect was present, with the allen key for adjusting the Hop-Up, a bushing wrench (not really needed), tube, rod and hopper loading tool and a manual. Only the target and the bag of BBs was missing, presumably used by the previous owner.
Flash photography does not do the silver finish on this gun any favours. To the naked eye, under natural light, the finish is smooth and realistically matt stainless in appearance (It looks too flaky in flash photographs).
The Para Ordnance P14-45 is (and I make no apologies for saying it again) a very stylish gun. The smooth, yet bulked out, 1911 shape is more attractive than the Infinity design, to my eye, but more muscular and purposeful than the single stack 1911s, such as the standard 1911A1.
The silver gun looks good, with just the black grips and sights, plus the polished hammer, barrel, bushing and chamber, being in a different finish.
Picking the gun up, you cannot help but be impressed by the weight, especially as this lacks the metal frame of the hi-cap Infinities, such as the 6" Ltd.
Silver guns are an acquired taste and all manufacturers have different methods of achieving the silver finish.
Western Arms paint the guns and produce a pretty good equivalent to a matt stainless finish (The polished stainless slide on the Beretta Elite 2 is quite different and probably even more realistic).
Most of the controls are painted silver to match the frame and slide, with the metal slide lock and safeties (grip and right hand only thumb safety) being so finished. The trigger, a plain flat quarter moon shape, and magazine release button are black and the hammer is polished silver with a plain loop on the top. Strangely, the metal mainspring cover (curved out on this gun, compared with the flat unit used on the HRT Special) is also painted black.
I've yet to see a 1911 style gun with the level of markings some Berettas carry and the Para Ordnance P14-45 is no better or worse in that respect than most. On the right hand side of the slide, there is "P14-45" and on the left there is "PARA ORDNANCE". The right side of the frame (looking forward) bears the marking "PARA ORDNANCE INC."/"FT LAUDERDALE, FL. CANADA" towards the front of the dustcover, with a WA and ASGK mark over the trigger, just like the other Para Ordnances I have reviewed. The left of the frame bears the usual WA/Para Ordnance license text, which is not overly intrusive.
The barrel is polished silver and this extends back to the port, where the chamber cover is similar (although plastic, as on all WA 1911s, unlike the metal outer barrel) and marked with the Para Ordnance logo and ".45 ACP".
The grip of the Para Ordnance is pretty much all that distinguishes it from a standard 1911. It is swollen to permit the fitting of a double stack magazine (giving 14 round .45 capacity on the real thing, hence the nomenclature, and 24 round capacity in 6mm airsoft form). The standard style 1911 grip panels are black plastic on this gun, which contrasts nicely with the silver frame and slide, and they bear the usual Para Ordnance logo on each grip. On the front of the grip are 9 vertical ridges which aid grip, a little. These ridges are repeated on the face of the trigger, albeit in a smaller number.
The sights are very basic, with an almost flat, completely fixed, blade at the rear with a notch in it, which is aligned with the single blade foresight. In use, the simple sights are pretty good, with white dots making acquisition easy, but there is no scope for fine tuning for target use.
The provided 24 round magazine is black and, like all WA magazines, rather plain. The base plate bears the Para Ordnance logo. The bigger 30 round (and very long 52 round) magazines from WA's Infinity range will also fit the Para Ordnances.
Sharing its mechanism with the Infinity range (in this case), you would expect the Para Ordnance P14-45 to perform well.
Certainly, I was somewhat surprised by the strength of the kick when I first fired my P14-45 and it continues to impress, with a sharp, snappy action and a powerful kick.
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.
Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test, I saw results similar to those of the longer barreled Infinities.
I tested this gun with the newer SCW Para-Ordnance HRT, so actually ran two tests. One with the gas in the gun and secondly with a fresh fill.
The initial grouping (solid squares on the target above) was 2.25 inches (6 CM). 4 shots fell within a 1.25 inch (3 CM) diameter.
After the regas, the P14-45 placed all 6 rounds in a slightly larger 3.25 inch (6.25 CM) radius, but the best 5 were within a 2 inch (5 CM) diameter.
This is not absolutely top level accuracy, but all shots were central to the target and would be more than sufficient for either skirmishing or practical target shooting.
The SCW system HRT produced almost identical groupings during the testing.
Over 10 shots, the Para-Ordnance P14-45 averaged 280 fps (using 134a gas) outdoors (around 20C).
With the magazine out, the slide should be moved back until the slide lock can be pushed out of the frame. The slide and barrel can then be slid off of the front of the frame.
The barrel bushing should be rotated 45 degrees anti-clockwise, it can then be removed. The recoil bushing will pop out, with the spring.
The outer barrel and chamber can then be drawn out through the front of the slide.
Overall, I really like the silver Para-Ordnance P14-45. It retains the best features of John Browning's 1911 design and combines it with a decent capacity magazine. WA match that up to the tried and trusted (and powerful) SV Infinity gas system and produce a stylish and highly functional airsoft pistol.
The only faults I can find is that the gun would suit left handers better with an ambidextrous safety and that the all plastic Paras suffer by comparison with their metal framed Infinity stablemates. Against any other all plastic gun, they feel solid and extremely well made, however, but anyone looking for a WA double stacker will probably, at least, consider both marques.
If I absolutely had to choose, I would pick an Infinity, but the Para Ordnance is, undeniably, the more stylish of the two designs.
Weight : 1,020g
Realism : ****
Quality : ****
Power : ****
Accuracy : ****
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